Dwain Gay continues summer basketball camps

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, July 24, 2019

By Nacogdoches Miller

Sun Intern

Campbell Junior High School’s gym was packed Tuesday for first day of the annual Dwain Gay Basketball Camp, with campers from first to eighth grade divided in to groups from youngest to oldest under six different goals.

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A veteran coach going into his 27th session, Gay said finding his way into the coaching was “a blessing.”

Throughout the week, younger campers will be learning basic fundamentals of the sport — how to handle, shoot and move with the ball, while the older groups will focus more on working as a team and moving the ball together.

Always an athlete himself and a graduate of George Rogers Clark High School, Gay went on to graduate from Union College with a major in sociology and a double minor in history and psychology.

Wanting to originally be a social worker, a hiring freeze led Gay to start working in the school system in dropout prevention and as a behavior interventionist.   

Finding a job was always first priority but being able to work and coach just fell in his lap, he said.

“I was able to find a job and coach at the same time, it was a blessing,” Gay said.

He took over coaching at the junior high level when Ken Trivet asked him to and has never looked back.

“In the beginning, I didn’t have any plans on (coaching), but when he asked me, I thought about it and thought it would be a good opportunity, so I jumped on it.” Gay said.

Gay said coaching and behavior intervention are similar in a lot of ways because you have to make a connection and build relationships with the students or the player to get them to want to be successful.

“When you are dealing with kids, being a mentor, trying to be a father figure or whatever they need to help a student to get back on the right track or to be focused on something, a lot of those same things tie in,” Gay said.

Gay said he loves sports, the town and the school system, and through sports he can give back to the community.

Gay said he credits his success today to his early involvement in sports.

“Sports give people opportunities,” he said. “I like trying to help people and just giving back to the kids the same opportunities that I was afforded.”

He hopes by coaching and helping the youth grow with an understanding of responsibility and giving back they will grow up wanting to do the same.

“In the end, you will be remembered by who you help,” Gay said. “When you help somebody, they remember those things.”

Gay said as a father he would want someone to look out and help his kids the same as he tries to help others.

Gay is passing along the lessons his coaches taught him about life, about working as team and about being a leader.

He said all of his couches have taught him something, but one stands out. He said Guy Strong taught him about strength and toughness and about how to deal with others.

“I would say 90 percent of the things I’ve learned (as a coach) have come from him and I try to pass that on and share with kids,” Gay said.

Gay said he hopes the main thing his students learn from him is to enjoy the day and seize the moment.

“Just enjoy the moment. Don’t take the time that you have as a player, your high school years, don’t take them for granted,” Gay said, “Learn something every day, do something nice every day.”